The three future cities and concepts are speculations that created a dialogue about possible urban visions. They also act as provocation for people to think over and reflect. After an evaluation with people, I concluded one notion in responding to the question “why do people choose to live in the city“, which is called cityness.
A Representative of Urban Qualities
Italo Calvino wrote in his famous work Invisible Cities that people take delight not in the urban wonders, “but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.” City as a dense combination of various things is such a versatile entity which can satisfy different people. This should be a basic condition of being a city.
Cityness resides in the interplay of living desirability and environmental functionality. What a city provides more than anything else is choices and opportunities. Cityness illustrates a city’s capability of empowering its dwellers to fulfil their own goals, being able to facilitate and experiment with every interest and potential that citizens might have. But cityness does not emerge only in one-way. City exists to serve its citizens and it also needs culture, feedback, initiatives and even fight in return for shared prosperity. In this way, people does not only live in the city but also for the city as they add up to new civic possibilities with their actions.
Simply, cityness fathoms the pleasantness of urban lives and the responsiveness of urban construction, and illustrates the co-performance between them for sustained improvement. This way, cityness becomes a representative of the urban qualities that a city holds.
To open up space about how cityness can be amplified in enacting policy-making, business-modelling and behavioural change, I made a framework, manifesto, and design method to uncover what cityness could stand for and further suggest a new framework for future city-making.